June 30, 2008
This week, we have story from Guelph, Ontario. The author, Amanda Bould, is enrolled in literacy classes at Action Read in Guelph. The story below came out of a short-term group that was working on housing issues with their housing educator.
Living with blindness is not the easiest thing to do. It takes a lot of strength, determination and faith in yourself to conquer this world, which you never really do.
My story begins in March of 2003. I woke up one morning to find a spot visible in my right eye. At first I thought it was a hair that kept getting in my way. Within a few days I found out it was not something that simple. I was diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy. Over the next months I endured laser treatments to help stop the blood vessels in my eyes to stop bleeding. My first surgery was in Nov. on my left eye which did not work. The next one was in Jan. 2004 which was on my right eye. In March I was declared legally blind. Nothing prepared me for the life I was about to begin. Life began to be a burden; I felt I was becoming a burden to my fiancé at the time. I began to sink into depression, people started to look at me weird, treat me different and some were even down right rude. I could not believe what was happening. Everywhere I looked or went looking for help the door got closed in my face. I felt like I was losing everything and everyone that mattered. I felt so lost and alone. It turns out not everyone can handle such drastic changes.
People can become very selfish and ignorant to things. I moved here to Guelph for a new beginning to prove to my family and myself that I could be independent and live on my own.
I received a lot of help from people once I got out and about. I have realized independence is nice, but acceptance of yourself is essential. The others don’t matter so much. I am still trying to be me and be independent but that will come with time.
Now the next thing to do is get all people to accept others for who they are, treat everyone as an equal, regardless of any handicaps.
[This story was taken with permission, from Learners' News Star, December 2006. This was published by Action Read Community Literacy Centre, a project of the For the Love of Words Group.]